California Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: California Births and Christenings, 1812-1988 .

Collection Time Period

This index covers events from 1817 through 1997.

Record Description

This index is an electronic database of information compiled from a variety of sources including the following:

  • Family Records
  • Church Records
  • Civil Registration

This index is not complete for any particular place or region.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found in birth index entries may include:

  • Name of the child
  • Gender
  • Names of the parents
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Christening date (if the source is a church record)
  • Family History Library Microfilm and item numbers for the source materials

Coverage Table

This collection is a partial index of records for the localities listed below as of April 2010. The table below shows the number of records by locality. Localities not listed may not have any records in this collection.

Most of these records date from the time period indicated in the columns below; however, there may be records before and after these dates. Record counts where the locality information was incomplete are included below under the country name. Because of this, you may wish to search only by state.

As this is an index of records compiled from various sources, it is strongly recommended that you verify the information in original records. Due to privacy laws not all records may be displayed.

Locality Births and Christenings, 1817-1997 Marriages, 1817-1997 Deaths and Burials, 1817-1997
Alameda 89,546 2,687 35,183
Alpine 110 0 0
Amador 588 3,406 577
Butte 11,820 0 20,466
Calaveras 1,690 960 0
California 3,861 25,646 38,905
Colusa 283 466 238
Contra Costa 0 0 3,294
Del Norte 467 618 0
El Dorado 986 4,202 0
Fresno 7,815 19,063 4,082
Glenn 488 3,670 1,465
Humboldt 1,922 22,836 3,814
Imperial 0 1,563 0
Inyo 0 1,051 0
Kern 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0
Lake 842 3,544 2,040
Lassen 0 0 0
Los Angeles 23,808 189,228 127,575
Madera 0 0 374
Marin 3,121 17,784 1,547
Mariposa 0 1,521 0
Mendocino 992 7,305 6,157
Merced 328 1,618 0
Modoc 0 0 0
Mono 186 464 0
Monterey 8,043 5,018 4,126
Napa 1,544 2,598 3,770
Nevada 2,603 10,535 5,558
Orange 1,961 93,631 15,309
Placer 611 9,453 337
Plumas 171 170 292
Riverside 4,470 1,797 5,676
Sacramento 7,784 27,802 51,764
San Benito 0 1,802 0
San Bernardino 9,605 6,355 15,919
San Diego 3,717 0 2,431
San Francisco 141 35,725 72,896
San Joaquin 0 14,836 5,240
San Luis Obispo 1,480 8,032 1,138
San Mateo 0 0 0
Santa Barbara 12,003 18,829 10,048
Santa Clara 7,401 11,160 14,127
Santa Cruz 2,135 7,940 2,616
Shasta 6,063 5,172 1,484
Sierra 286 767 531
Siskiyou 0 0 0
Solano 0 9,710 1,926
Sonoma 6,673 22,787 15,972
Stanislaus 274 5,196 226
Sutter 333 2,805 630
Tehama 3,698 3,197 1,437
Trinity 135 479 0
Tulare 0 0 0
Tuolumne 0 3,863 1,405
Ventura 0 0 0
Yolo 369 5,686 4,891
Yuba 352 5,561 0
Total 230,705 628,538 485,466

How to Use the Record

This information could help you identify family relationships and lineages as well as direct you to original records of your ancestors, which may contain additional information.

In birth or christening records, if a surname is not listed for the child, the indexer often assigns the father’s surname to the child. This surname may not be correct. So if you are looking for a birth or christening, search by the given name of the child, adding parents' names and as much locality information as is permitted.

Each entry in this index has a source listed which includes a batch number. You will need to trace the batch number for the individual entry to learn its source. Please see the following wiki articles for more information on batch numbers:


IGI Batch Number Descriptions

IGI Batch Numbers for the British Isles and North America

Record History

For over 30 years, volunteer indexers extracted this information from microfilm copies of the original records. In 1998, a few of the entries were published on 7 CDs by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the "North America Vital Records Index." This index is an index of the births, marriages, and deaths throughout California. The index is not necessarily complete for any particular place or region.

Why This Record Was Created

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsored the indexing to accomplish its program of identifying the ancestry of mankind.

Record Reliability

Church records and civil registration were official sources and are some of the most reliable sources of information available on those who were born, married, or died in California.

Related Websites

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related websites here. 

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to this Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

  • “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 4 March 2011), entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
  • “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 21 March 2011), entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.

Sources of Information for This Collection

"California Births and Christenings, 1812-1988," index, "FamilySearch" ( Index based on the International Genealogical Index, Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL digital index. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.